A look at the Union’s salary structure

Photo: Earl Gardner

The MLS Players’ Association published its fall 2019 salary guide last Friday.

Below in “Senior Roster,” “Supplemental Roster,” and “Reserve Roster,” I correlate salaries with the Union’s 9/25/19 roster structure. My “Unavailable/Loaned Out/Future” covers the exceptions.

Union Senior Roster - Salaries

Salaries - MLS Players Association; Roster structure and categories - MLS website
SlotPlayerPositionSalaryTotal CompensationRoster Category 1Roster Category 2
1Marco FabianM-F$2,000,727$2,274,087INT 1DP 2
2Alejandro BedoyaM$1,200,000$1,266,250DP 1
3Jamiro MonteiroM$618,000 $671,200INT 2
4Sergio SantosF$600,000$668,500INT 3
5Haris MedunjaninM$550,008$595,008 INT 4
6Andrew WootenF$510,000$595,833
7Andre BlakeGK$500,004$550,004
8IlsinhoM$330,000 $357,000
9Kai WagnerD$318,000$360,150INT 5
10Jack ElliottD$250,000265,000INT 6
11Kacper PrzybylkoF$240,000$277,000INT 7
12Ray GaddisD$190,000$190,000
13Aurelien CollinD$175,000 $175,000
14Warren CreavalleM$162,000 $175,300
15Fafa PicaultM-F$160,000 $173,666
16Joe BendikGK$144,000$144,000
18Olivier MbaizoD$70,875$70,875INT 8

Supplemental Roster - Salaries

Salaries - MLS Players Association; Roster Structure and Categories - MLS website
SlotPlayerPositionSalaryTotal CompensationRoster Category 1Roster Category 2
21Auston TrustyD$95,000$124,100HG
22R. J. AllenD$70,250 $70,250
23Brenden AaronsonM$70,000$98,309HG
24Matt FreeseGK$70,000$77,650HG

Reserve Roster - Salaries

Salaries - MLS Players Association; Roster Structure and Categories - MLS website
SlotPlayerPositionSalaryTotal CompensationRoster Category 1Roster Category 2
25Mark McKenzieD$72,225 $82,225 HG
26Anthony FontanaM$70,260$78,677HG
27Matt RealD$57,225$57,225HG

Unavailable/Loaned Out/Future

Salaries - MLS Players Association; Roster Categories and Structure - MLS website
SlotPlayerPositionSalaryTotal CompensationRoster Category 1Roster Category 2
29Cory BurkeF$75,937$79,720UnavailableP1 Visa
30Derrick JonesM$75,000$80,900Loaned outNashville SC
31Michee NgalinaF-M$56,250$56,250INT 9*Loan - USLC
32Jack De VreisM-F$90,000$120,556AcademyUnion 2020
33Cole TurnerM-D? ? ? ?? ? ? ?Bethlehem 2019Union 2020

In “Senior Roster” notice the high but imperfect correlation between being a “not-domestically-developed” player and higher salary. The pattern is an issue going into the impending Collective Bargaining Agreement talks.

Note that Jamiro Monteiro’s salary is $100,000 higher at the end of September than it was when reported at the beginning of June.

I have guessed that Michee Ngalina occupies the 9th international roster slot. The MLS website’s Union roster lists him as “unavailable,” and the ninth slot as unoccupied. The ninth slot was acquired from Columbus on May 7th. Ngalina was signed to the first team May 8th. The Union’s own website lists him as an international. I doubt that Ernst Tanner and Chris Albright traded for the slot only to leave it empty. My conclusion is nonetheless unconfirmed guesswork.

A readers’ question will be why there is a salary for Jack De Vries but not Cole Turner. Think about the legalities of medical insurance coverage and other such issues. Turner graduated from the academy in June and so needs a professional contract with Bethlehem since he is no longer with the academy. De Vries is still enrolled in the Academy, so when playing or practicing can be covered by an Academy “zero dollar” contract. Why the players association chose to list De Vries’s future salary I cannot guess.

I would infer that salary variations among the young might reflect degrees of interest from sources outside MLS. By so doing, I speculate.

I have eliminated the cents from the Players’ Association salary data and rounded to the nearest dollar.

MLS lists Cory Burke on the Senior roster, Derrick Jones on the Supplemental, and Ngalina on the Reserve. I consolidated those listings to a fourth category to try to avoid confusion.


  1. Overall I’m pretty happy withe the way the roster has come together this year. I think Tanner has put together a good group.
    That being said we have $3.4mil sitting on the bench so there is room for improvement for next year.
    Hopefully Wooten is the next Kacper and comes alive next year if he’s still around. Sergio needs to find a way to stay healthy. Fabian… has certainly shown sparks. Just not sure if he’s ever going to be our go-to $2.2 million dollar guy.

  2. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Monteiro and Fabian’s contracts are funny to see. I hold no ill will toward Marco but we keep Monteiro and sell Marco at all costs. I think Monty deserves to be paid like a top 3 midfielder in the league.

  3. Need More Foreign Aid from Germany……………..

    Marco has got to go. Kai and Kascper have earned substantial raises. Elliot too. Montiero needs to be paid substantially more if they want to keep him. Use the savings on Marcos salary and upgrade at right Fullback. Heard Kai has a cousin ripping up the second division at Dortmond. Get on the horn Tanner.

  4. Tim Herring says:

    Tim Jones did not conduct the most important analysis: 1) total team compensation vs overall results and 2) profit the owners are taking in and franchise value. The answers: 1) $8.9 million and no metal to date after 9+ years and 2) too much whatever it is (based on total franchise 2018 value of $175 million — excluding stadium & other real estate — after he paid $20 to 25 million for it years ago — you do the rest of the math).

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